We all have capacity to use our imaginations and be creative. Most of us have experienced the eudemonic power of creativity to influence our emotions and wellbeing. However, other than anecdotal reports, there is little scientific literature on the beneficial effects of creativity on health and wellbeing. Furthermore, within the traditional model of healthcare delivery that the NHS adopts, application of creativity has perhaps been under-explored. Within our current NHS, an increasingly aged population and associated burden of chronic disease and ill-health, there is a timely opportunity to transform healthcare delivery through digitally-applied creativity. There are myriad scenarios in which digitally-applied creativity could be utilized within our current healthcare system, including during convalescence from acute illness, to facilitate long-term (including self-) management of chronic illness, to tackle taboo subjects such as death, and to address social isolation and loneliness within our population. Such an approach not only has the potential to improve general health and wellbeing within our population, but also to promote cost-saving within the NHS.
Our newly-formed GRP network based at the University of Warwick comprises an eclectic mix of researchers with diverse backgrounds that span health sciences, the arts, digital healthcare and expertise in business. An important aim of our network is to generate much-needed scientific evidence to support the utilization of digitally-applied forms of creativity to improve general health and wellbeing, alleviate stress and anxiety and to address key issues within our society that include loneliness. Through focused network meetings that will include involvement of key external collaborators, in a spirit of open innovation, we will secure grant funding that will enable this important research field to be explored further, thereby ultimately improving patient care through developing novel innovations in digital healthcare delivery and self-management.